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Northern Ireland policing: imploding

Wow, the policing situation in Northern Ireland is undergoing meltdown (again).

First off, ‘Stakeknife’ has been named. He was a very high-up member of the IRA (‘head of security for the IRA’s northern command’ apparently), and a double agent for the British Army’s FRU division. The Sunday Herald coverage is here. This is seemingly due to some revelations by a double-agent turned whistleblower.

He’s not a nice character by all accounts:

‘It would be tantamount to being exposed as running a Latin American-style murder squad if the truth came out,’ one said. Unlike Nelson, Stakeknife sometimes did the killings himself. He is also supposed to have arranged for republican targets to be in the wrong place at the wrong time so loyalist hit teams could ‘take them out’. An intelligence source added: ‘This guy was licensed to kill and he killed very many people — or arranged their deaths.’

So, last week, Castlereagh barracks — where files on the agent were kept, and ‘supposedly the most secure security force barracks in western Europe’ — was broken into by a team from British Army intelligence. From that article, it seems pretty brazen; they used army passes, went directly to the room where the papers were moved, knew that security teams were not operational, took exactly the right files, and left:

One former FRU source said: ‘There was no way it was paramilitaries — they couldn’t pull it off. The branch couldn’t do it as they’d get spotted by their own pals in the RUC and MI5 just don’t do rough stuff like this. There’s no one except an intelligence corps CME team who could do this and there is no other motive for them doing it than protecting Stakeknife.’

More NI stuff: Martin McGuinness transcripts: Cryptome again. Surprisingly interesting, mostly for the relaxed chats with Mo Mowlam!

  • Mo: ‘Ahem, the second thing I was gonna say was that I was gonna go to AMERICA and if I’ve got it I’m still gonna go for a couple of days, this week. So I won’t be around much and then I’m on two weeks holiday.’
  • MM: ‘Right’.
  • Mo: ‘So, it was really if there was anything, ahem?’
  • MM: ‘Your holiday plans and mine are colliding then.’
  • Mo: ‘I’m going 26th for two weeks’.
  • MM: ‘So am I, 26th for two weeks.’
  • Mo: ‘Your not going to TURKEY I hope?’
  • MM: ‘No I’m going to Kerry.’
  • (Both laugh)
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